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Influencer marketing is on the rise. People believe messages from experts in various fields from blockchain, IoT, to marketing and automation, especially if these experts are not directly affiliated with a particular brand.

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Influencer marketing is growing on all platforms, be it Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, Reddit, Facebook, or even through individual blogs. Yet brands are stumped how to choose a good influencer. Choose an influencer with no follower engagement and you waste your money; choose a micro-influencer with no significant following and you may be overpaying.

Some have hundreds of thousands of followers yet virtually no engagement; the suspicion is that their followers are fake, or simply regard the content as unimportant. Those may not be the right choice for your brand. …


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Something curious has happened over the last (almost) decade. We call it social media marketing and think of all the platforms that come with it, from Twitter and Reddit to Facebook and LinkedIn. We think of long-form content, e-mail marketing, blog posts and user-generated content. We debate the length of videos and the right composition of headlines to gain more clicks, views, and retweets. We talk about influencers and word-of-mouth and the role of millennials in B2B. Our biggest worry is the customer journey and the role of marketing itself.

All these are valid concerns for most businesses and products.

In one industry however, one platform absolutely dominates the marketing scene and the conversation with end consumers and between firms alike: interior design and Instagram are a match made in heaven. …


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Drastic career changes can be very rewarding

Through my 25-year long career, I have worked for tech companies, internet companies, startups, even diplomatic missions, trade offices, two marketing agencies and, for a few exciting months, as a university lecturer.

In one way or another, all of these positions had to do with marketing: getting the word out, whether it is about a brand, a new enterprise, a country, or teaching the very same to eager students. From storytelling to digital marketing, from branding to brand management — somehow it was always connected.

I worked primarily in the industrial sector: machinery, semiconductors, nanotechnology, and later on moved into IT, software, artificial intelligence and machine learning. …


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Originally published on Futurist: https://martinhiesboeck.com/2019/01/02/iot-cybersecurity-and-manufacturing-war-is-coming/

The Internet of Things or IoT is being hailed as the next big thing changing our world: our daily lives, the way we shop and consume information, and, finally, manufacturing.

Increasingly however, issues with data security, privacy, and hacking of connected systems, are making it clear that the rollout of a globally interconnected Internet of Things is anything but assured.

Cyber criminals are increasingly focusing on connected devices, hacking anything from Wi-Fi routers to coffee machines. If it is connected to the Internet in any way, it can be hacked. Cloud computing does not offer any consolation: blackouts at cloud service providers due to, say, DDoS attacks, affect millions of customers, supply chains, and production lines. …


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This article has been adapted from a two-part post by @claudiomkd which you can find here: Part1 and here: Part2

If one thing I learned about B2B markets during my career is that business-to-business models, although very monetarily rewarding, can pose two huge challenges for sales & marketing organizations:

  1. Sales cycles can be very long, taking months or even years to close a deal
  2. Typically, the customer lifetime value (LTV) is relatively short due to high competition and pricing wars

There is a conflict here between the sales cycle and LTV, which can only be mitigated by minimizing the sales cycle and establishing a long-term customer lifetime value. …


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For many companies, coming up with a marketing plan is mainly about evaluating past results, tweaking them, and perhaps get inspiration from competitors, i.e. doing exactly what others do and thus ending up with mediocre results at best.

Likewise, many marketing plans revolve purely around deciding on an agency or ad frequency and then wait for others to come up with ideas — ideas constrained by budgets and bad decision-making by top management.

But at the end of the day, marketing is all about creativity, and creativity is in short supply. Bringing creativity into the planning process is difficult, mainly because you probably have exactly the same people as last year sitting around the table, steeped in group-think and stifled by the decades of experience the CMO or CEO, or worse, company owner, use to justify shooting down any idea that is in any way risky or simply different. …


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One of the biggest challenges in today’s business world for mid and top-level executives is to correctly estimate data needs of new AI projects both at inception and over time.

You may also want to read: Machine Learning in the Organization: First Steps

The main questions which arise here are: what kind of data do we need, how do we need to prepare (clean) the data, and how do we teach employees who are not familiar with machine learning concepts and artificial intelligence how to manipulate and curate that data.

Most clients in this field come in two flavors: those with massive amounts of data who do not know what to do with it, and those who have never bothered to collect data and don’t know where to begin their journey. …


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Everybody knows the enterprise needs to move towards a digital future. We speak of “data-driven organizations“. But in marketing in particular, but eventually in any other part of the modern enterprise, there is one question managers are asking these days: faced with the onslaught of artificial intelligence solutions and all the buzz about it, when are we really ready for AI?

There are lots of reasons to fear AI. Managers used to be completely unsure what AI is, what it is, and — most importantly — how much it costs. Do I have to hire new people for it? …


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Reviews, even with the best intentions, seldom help brands and businesses. This sounds heretical, but let me explain.

TripAdvisor is an amazing site. In a sense, together with the reviews on Amazon, and any other site that uses a rating system, it embodies the essence of the digital economy: easy access to other people’s opinions and feelings.

And yet, I never use it. On purpose.

I recently went to Slovenia and stayed at a spa hotel. It was an amazing experience. Buildings left over from its founding in the times of the Hapsburg Empire; signs in Russian reminding you of the country’s Communist past as part of Yugoslavia, and a German heart specialist offering free consultations for senior guests in his clinic full of Scandinavian furniture. The cake shop sold only traditional Slovene pastries. …


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Word of mouth is by any measure the best form of marketing. Recommendations from friends, colleagues, and even strangers lend credibility and are far more cost-effective than tedious advertising.

This is increasingly true as younger generations or ‘digital natives’ are becoming increasingly impervious to advertising.

In a digital world, word of mouth takes on a new dimension as user opinions can reach thousands of potential customers through likes and shares on social media platforms. Experiences marketers like Tyler Anderson have called word-of-mouth on social the new organic, and they may be right.

What customers say about your product or service is far more important than your ad campaign, whether it’s offline or online. …

About

Martin Hiesboeck

International business and brand consultant with a focus on Asia and emerging technologies, healthcare, industry, IoT, blockchain and of course marketing.

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